Ending a relationship is a weird and complicated series of events. At least for me it is.
C and I broke up (the last of many times) in September. At that point we had been together for almost six years. We knew that neither of us were happy with the long distance and that something needed to change. But nothing could change. I was here in New York beginning my two year grad school program. He was almost three hours away in the second year of his Ph.D. program. Neither of us would be leaving our current cities for at least two years. So we decided to break up. I really believe it was the best decision. I cried that night and mourned the loss of a great boyfriend and many happy times together. But the next morning I woke up in a good mood. I felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt lighter. I felt freer. I knew I would be happier this way.
A few weeks later I started casually dating New Boy. He was super cute, funny, and made me feel important. But he was also immature, unambitious, and moving to Queens in a few weeks. So our fling lasted almost two months. It ran its course; it was fun and made me forget about C for a while. Mission accomplished.
Then I started the saga of online dating. Match.com, Eharmony, Plenty of Fish, and OkCupid. I immersed myself in the dating scene for six months. At the highest (or lowest, depending on your point of view) point I went on 5 dates with 5 different men in one week. Most of the dates went no where. I saw a couple guys a few more times, but I never met anyone with whom I wanted anything more.
During this time C and I had been in contact, but nothing more than a short online chat to see how things were going. I knew he was dating another girl (Facebook is evil!), but I wanted no details. He came to visit once in October which was one of the most painfully awkward lunches I’ve ever endured. We were moving on.
In March I went to Las Vegas for Spring Break. The entire time I was thinking about C. I sent him a few texts throughout the week and he replied with hints of flirtation. When I got back to New York we started talking on the phone again. At first it was only once a week. He was still dating someone else, of course. And we were “just friends”.
C came to visit again in April. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that story. He ended up spending the night and staying the entire next day. It was perfect- sushi, cupcakes, cuddles, the Brooklyn Bridge, and lots of I miss you’s. That’s when I believe “we” started again.
He ended things with the other girl as soon as he got home. We started talking every day. He made plans to come visit again. We began talking about the future. We knew there was a possibility I might not stay in New York, but we didn’t really think I would be leaving. We began talking about ways to fix our broken relationship and what we needed to be happy.Throughout this conversation we both decided that we didn’t want to do long distance anymore, but if I stayed in New York we would try to work it out. However, we decided if I went back to Texas we would end things. Over the past six years we have dealt with thousands of miles between us and we know how difficult it is. We want a relationship with each other, not with a telephone.
So I kept job hunting, making phone calls, emailing resumes, and ultimately hitting dead ends. I wanted to stay in New York. I wanted to make things work between us, but it didn’t seem to be working out that way.
I never found a job in New York.
I made the decision to move back to Texas.
And therefore, I, by default, made the decision end things with C.
We talked yesterday, the first real conversation we’ve had since I told him I was moving back to Texas. There had been text messages and brief gchats, but no phone calls. I had been trying to avoid him. But we talked. He told me he felt used and like I took advantage of him. I told him I was sorry but that was not my intention at all. I told him that I miss him, but I really could not come visit him before I leave as it would make me too sad. We talked about his possible trip to Texas in August and I said I would make a point to see him if he came.
It was sad and frustrating and full of love, all at the same time.
You see, our relationships is complicated. I love C, I really really love him. I love him, but a really small part of me knows that he is not the right person for me to be with forever. So I’m hoping that this move to Texas will help me figure out how to gracefully move on.
Is there a way to gracefully move on, somehow keep the other person in your life, and still have no one get hurt?